Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers as a Healthcare Traveler

by Howard Gerber on December 18, 2014

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stress-travel-nursing-tips-advice-difficult-coworkersIf you’re lucky, you will get along well with every co-worker you meet. But if you are like most people, you will occasionally have a co-worker who is a bit hard to deal with. Difficult co-workers present a challenge for anyone. But for travelers, who are not on staff, it can be a particularly tough situation. With a little patience and good communication, you can handle troublesome coworkers. Below are different types of difficult co-workers and suggestions on handling the situation.

The Gossiper

You know the type. They always have something to say about everything. The hospital gossip always wants to share their scoop. The worst thing you can do as a traveler is take part in hospital gossip. Your best bet is to just ignore the gossip and focus on getting to know other co-workers.

The Complainer

Everyone has moments they need to vent, but the complainer is always whining about something. Whether they have a bad workload or feel they are being treated unfairly, the complainer will let you know.  The problem is listening to all that negativity can be draining. Although it may not always be possible, keeping your distance from a complainer can lessen the bad vibes.

The Bully

Unfortunately, bullies are everywhere, from the schoolyard to the workplace. The workplace bully may try to intimate you, especially if you are coming in as a traveler. Some things should not be ignored. If someone is bullying you at work, it has to be addressed. Sometimes bullies back down as soon as they are confronted.  If speaking directly to the offensive co-worker does not correct the situation, you need to get your supervisor involved. If the bully is your supervisor, then you’ll need to move up the food chain and talk to their supervisor.

The Know it All

There is a difference between being a competent worker and being a know it all. While it may be helpful as a healthcare traveler to have someone who can show you the ropes, a know it all, can become annoying quickly. Although they may drive you a little nuts at times, you are probably better off trying to limit your interactions, instead of trying to get the person to change.

The Lazy Worker

Everyone needs a co-worker who pulls their weight. But not everyone is willing to do their share. If you run into a lazy co-worker during your travel assignment, you have a few options. Do your best to not allow their attitude to get to you. Avoid complaining to others or gossiping about your co-worker. Decide if their laziness is interfering with your job. If it is, talk to your co-worker in a professional manner about your concerns.

Regardless of what your co-worker’s issues are, try to keep the following in mind:

  • Decide what matters and what does not. Some things can be annoying, but don’t interfere with your ability to do your job.
  • Pick your battles. Not everything is worth making a big deal about. Keep in mind, your assignment is not forever.
  • Don’t fear confrontation. Although sometimes you can let things go, in other instances, you have to stand up for yourself.
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